Voters aren’t gaining confidence in President Donald Trump ahead of his planned meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.
More than a third of voters, 34 percent, say they don’t have any confidence at all in Trump to handle threats posed by North Korea, up slightly from 31 percent last month. Another 15 percent say they don’t have much confidence in Trump, roughly unchanged from 16 percent in March.
The percentage of voters who say they have a lot of confidence in Trump ticked up, to 28 percent from 24 percent last month. Another 19 percent say they have some confidence in Trump, down from 21 percent in March.
The new survey was conducted April 19-23 — and was already being fielded when North Korean state media said the country would pause its nuclear and missile tests. Kim is scheduled to meet with week with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea in what is seen as a preview of the Trump-Kim sit-down.
Despite the concessions and high-level communications between the U.S. and North Korea — CIA Director Mike Pompeo, whose nomination to be secretary of state is pending, traveled to North Korea to meet with Kim in recent weeks — voters don’t think relations with the country are improving, the poll shows. Only 18 percent say U.S. relations with North Korea have gotten better since Trump took office, compared with 46 percent who say they have gotten worse and 17 percent who say they have stayed about the same.
A majority of voters, 59 percent, say North Korea is an enemy of the United States, while another 22 percent say North Korea is not friendly but not an enemy of the U.S.
“A softer tone from North Korea has had little discernible impact on voters’ perceptions of the country,” said Kyle Dropp, Morning Consult’s co-founder and chief research officer. “An August poll found 81 percent of voters consider North Korea as an enemy or unfriendly to the U.S., and that number remains the same today.”
Trump’s overall approval rating in the new poll — 42 percent approve, and 55 percent disapprove — is unchanged from last week. But more voters say they trust Republicans in Congress (46 percent) than Democrats (33 percent) to handle national security issues.
Despite that advantage, voters prefer the Democratic candidate on the generic congressional ballot by a 9-point margin, 44 percent to 35 percent — up from a 7-point Democratic advantage last week, and Democrats’ largest lead since the final POLITICO/Morning Consult poll in 2017.
The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll surveyed 1,993 registered voters and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Morning Consult is a nonpartisan media and technology company that provides data-driven research and insights on politics, policy and business strategy.